If you have ever looked at the endless rows of posters plastered on billboards, roadside fences and abandoned buildings around Liverpool, it is likely there is one name that you have seen more often than any other. That man has become a staple of Liverpool’s electronic music scene, he is Rich Furness.
Rich is a local guy who has grown up in and around the city, his musical influences and references are embedded in our local culture. His musical ascent to resident DJ of the mighty Chibuku club night began way back in the early 1990s. After being influenced by his older brother into listening to old rave groups like SL2 and The Prodigy, he began to rob his compilation tapes. After spending his adolescence in 3beat record shop looking for old Drome and Helter Skelter mix tapes, Furness finally got his chance to go to a live show when his older brother took him along to a New Year’s Party in Milton Keynes. When he was standing in the club, surrounded by 10,000 comrades, Rich Furness had an epiphany. He recalls, “I had always wanted to be an MC, but that night I saw Mark EG (hardcore DJ) play, and he looked like he was having more fun than anyone in the entire venue. I remember just watching him transfixed and thinking ‘that’s what I want to do’.”
A year later, Rich had his first decks.
Rich’s musical influences are not too dissimilar to that of many other dubstep and electronic DJs, he quotes David Rodigan, Marky & Mala as 3 of his heroes. He continues to say, “the influences on what I am actually playing at the moment are mainly from the multi genre ‘post dubstep’ garage stuff, there’s so much good stuff around at the moment its getting very difficult to keep track.”
He really isn’t wrong. Through speaking with Rich, it can quickly be ascertained that he has a vast knowledge of the subject; he is a regular contributor to Core Mag, as well as running his own blog. The evolution of dubstep is a touchy area, especially for those in the inner circle, though Rich shrugs away the animosity for the growing popularity of his beloved music. “Its been really weird to have watched Dubstep grow into what it has become. It’s really strange now as I think Dubstep isn’t even Dubstep any more, the main sounds you hear at clubs now are so far removed from what Dubstep sounded like in 2005 when the term was first given, tracks have just been getting more and more aggressive and sillier, which doesn’t really bother me because I like it all.”
This one-for-all attitude has lead Furness to being a popular DJ around the city; you are just as likely to catch him playing dubstep at Chibuku or Electro at Korova. His adaptability assures him a place at the top of every promoter’s booking slates, and he has amassed a very impressive list of support slots. He recalls one of those nights as his best, “Warming up for Chase & Status to 700 of the rowdiest people ever in The Theatre rank as some of the greatest hours of my life.”
As I’m sure you have also noticed, Rich has one of the best attributes for anyone associated with the business: he simply loves the music. He revealed that, “I don’t think in the future I could possibly work somewhere doing something that isn’t involved in music without becoming clinically depressed within an hour.”
It is this level of respect and admiration for his music that signals Rich Furness out as one of our great city’s leading DJs.